Can Yoga Help Relieve Anxiety?

Your phone is ringing, your kids want to know what is for dinner, your boss wants to talk to you, you are running late for an appointment and road rage is at the surface. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they're getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try. Here are some ways yoga can relieve anxiety... 

Yoga Lowers Tensions and Promotes Relaxation

In times of high stress our bodies tend to tighten and constrict. We hold tension in our shoulders, necks, jaws, hips or elsewhere. When we experience the relaxation benefits of yoga, we can lower our physical tension, which helps release the grip that anxiety can have on us.

Yoga Helps Us Regulate the Breath

Our breath is intimately connected to our nervous system. When we are anxious we tend to take rapid, shallow breaths, or we might even unconsciously hold our breath. Slowing our breathing soothes the nervous system. Yoga can teach us to breath with awareness and to use the breath to move through challenging poses. We can take this breath focus with us anywhere!

Doing Yoga Demonstrates Self Compassion

When we are stressed and busy, it is easy to stop doing things that are good for us, like exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating well. When we take time to do something kind for ourselves like yoga, we treat ourselves as someone who's worth taking care of.

Yoga Fosters Self-Acceptance

As challenging as yoga can be, the practice is grounded in an acceptance of where we are. To accept our bodies, abilities, and limits just as they are at that very moment. Acceptance doesn't have to mean resignation to stagnation. Just because we are complete doesn't mean we are done growing.

While yoga isn't for everyone, it is for anyone.

What brings you back to the mat?